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Úvodní stránka » RECORDS II » Susan Alcorn
Susan Alcorn — Soledad

Susan Alcorn — Soledad (April 7th, 2015)

United States                               Susan Alcorn — Soledad 
••••   “Susan A is a great player who has mastered and redefined an unlikely instrument. With an exquisite touch she invoked it's history, extended its emotional and ethereal strengths and explored its microtonal possibilities, drawing it out of the contexts that traditionally render it invisible, or generic, and into its own mature discourse, reminding improvisers that 'free' includes the right to be romantic, melodic and four to the bar.” —  Chris Cutler, The Wire (UK)
Born: 1953
Location: Houston, Texas ~~ Baltimore, Maryland
Album release: 07 Apr 2015
Recorded: at Uma Sounds, Baltimore, MD USA
Record Label: Relative Pitch
Release number: RPR1032
Duration:     55:38
Tracks:
1. Soledad   (Astor Piazzolla)     8:50
2. Invierno Porteno   (Astor Piazzolla)     9:11
3. Adiós Nonino   (Astor Piazzolla)     12:06
4. Suite For AHL   (Susan Alcorn)     8:06
5. Tristezas De Un Doble A   (Astor Piazzolla)     17:25
Personnel:
•   Susan Alcorn — Pedal Steel Guitar
•   Michael Formanek — Contrabass, track 4
•   Mastered ByEdward Tetreault
•   ProducerBill Shoemaker                                                                  // Description:
•   Pedal Steel guitar innovator Susan Alcorn in a mostly solo release, beautifully performing 4 lush compositions by Astor Piazzolla, with bassist Michael Formanek joining for the Alcorn–penned "Suite for AHL".
•   "Susan Alcorn is a Baltimore, Maryland–based composer and musician who has received international recognition as an innovator of the pedal steel guitar, an instrument whose sound is commonly associated with country and western music. Having absorbed the technique of C&W pedal steel playing and refined it to a virtuosic level, her original music reveals the influence of free jazz, avant–garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and other musics of the world. The UK Guardian describes her music as "beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from pulse and conventional harmony."
•   Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne., the late Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Joe Giardullo, Joe McPhee, Mike Cooper, L? Quan Ninh, Ellen Fullman, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Ellery Eskelin, and John Butcher."                                             © In Buenos Aires, 2007
REVIEW
By Rodger Coleman at 4:40 PM
•   When I first heard of Susan Alcorn, my initial response was incredulousness: pedal steel guitar in an avant–garde jazz context? Impossible! But when I put on her new CD on Relative Pitch Records, I was swept away from the very first note. Consisting of four compositions by Astor Piazzolla performed solo (plus a duo improvisation with bassist Michael Formanek), Soledad is a sonic revelation.
•   The pedal steel guitar is horrifically complicated to play, with its pedals and knee bars enabling (requiring!) the performer to change the tuning of multiple strings simultaneously — the 3D chess of musical instruments. Combined with a metal slide and a variety of picks, an infinite sound world of pitch and tone color is available — though it is the weeping chords and swooping glissandos that define its idiomatic role in country music. Alcorn has certainly paid her dues on the boot–scooting circuit but she has taken it exponetially further by introducing alternate tunings and extended techniques to create uniquely personal and expressive music on this most difficult of instruments.
•   Along with a love of South American tango, Alcorn also draws on a diverse range of musical influences, including jazz, modern classical (notably, the avian sonorities of Olivier Messiaen), the Japanese koto, South Indian ragas and East Asian gamelan. And while her technique is truly astonishing — lightning fast single–note runs, complex multi–part polyphony, and otherworldly sounds and textures — there is a meditative calm at the center of the music. This points to her work with Pauline Oliveros and the “Deep Listening” project as well as her deep respect for the instrument’s roots in the vernacular.
•   While the music on Soledad is as challenging and “avant–garde” as anything else on the Relative Pitch label, it is also a sublimely beautiful record: inviting and accessible yet also wildly creative and inventive. Frankly, I have never heard anything quite like it — and now I'm on the lookout for the rest of her discography. Most highly recommended! ?    http://nuvoid.blogspot.com/        /

ABOUT •   Susan Alcorn is a Baltimore, Maryland–based composer and musician who has received international recognition as an innovator of the pedal steel guitar, an instrument whose sound is commonly associated with country and western music. Having absorbed the technique of C&W pedal steel playing and refined it to a virtuosic level, her original music reveals the influence of free jazz, avant–garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and other musics of the world. The UK Guardian describes her music as "beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from pulse and conventional harmony."  In addition to frequent tours throughout North America and Europe, Susan has performed in the UK at the London Festival of Experimental Music, the On The Outside Festival in Newcastle, and the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra Improvisation Festival;  in France at the Musique Action Festival in Vandoeuvre–les–Nancy, Ateliers Tampon and Instants Chavires in Paris; in Germany at the Leipzig JazzTage and with the ICI Ensemble in Munich; The Stone, CBGBs, and Issue Project Room in New York; Il Continiere in Rome; and at Arsenic and Cave 12 in Switzerland. Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne., the late Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Joe Giardullo, Joe McPhee, Mike Cooper, Le Quan Ninh, Ellen Fullman, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Ellery Eskelin, and John Butcher. Her newest release Touch This Moment is available on Uma Sounds. Label: http://www.relativepitchrecords.com/  // Website: http://www.susanalcorn.net/
MySpace:
https://myspace.com/susanalcorn
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Susan Alcorn — Soledad

 

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